I’ve always had tremendous admiration for leaders and engineers. The ability of engineers to pull apart problems, and their commitment to the exploration of multiple possible solutions, are skills I’ve tried to emulate in numerous leadership roles. And, of course, they can actually build things. That’s a talent that has always escaped me. Throughout my

As Leaders, Are You Settling Up or Settling Down?

American Values have been changing. For almost all of the past 300 or so of my presentations, I’ve opened with the same question. “How many of you are completely comfortable with calling yourself a leader?” The crowds have been young and old, student and professional, representing dozens of different interests and professions. The one thing

North American Values – A Change in Behavior

I’m sure everyone has epiphany moments of realization as a leader when you realize something both obvious and important has been sitting directly in front of you. I had one of those moments, and I’m glad that I did. Leadership Notes To explain this particular “epiphany,” I have to return to a train trip across

Epiphany – The Power of Questions in Leadership

Leadership is often about making one big decision – a decision to make many consistent small, positive decisions. It’s important to recognize the profoundly positive impact that can come from seemingly insignificant actions. When I speak publicly, my focus is on sharing stories that I hope to highlight how the biggest determinants of what people think

Leadership in an Economy of Scarcity

A few years ago, at the end of a first-year university workshop on leadership theory with a heavy focus on the ideas of transformational and servant leadership, a young woman who had been sitting near the front approached me. “Sir,” she said shyly, “I’m afraid I don’t understand.” “What exactly is it you don’t understand?”

In Simple English, What does Leadership Mean?

When we evaluate ourselves as leaders and as people, I think we spend too much time focusing on the extraordinary days in our lives. And make no mistake: our lives are filled with extraordinary days. I’ve found that extraordinary days can be positive. For instance, when you achieve something you’ve worked hard for, are recognized

10 Ways to Foster Everyday Leadership

It has been the “accidental teachers” in my life who have passed on some of the most transformative lessons. The education they’ve given me has been invaluable, not just in terms of the leadership lessons they’ve taught, but in the realization that much of our leadership comes when we ourselves play the role of accidental

Accidental Teachers – One Day vs Next Day Leadership

Drew Dudley introduced the “accidental teachers” in his life who have passed on some of the most transformative lessons. The education they’ve given me has been invaluable. Not just in terms of the leadership lessons they’ve taught but in the realization that much of our leadership comes when we ourselves play the role of accidental

Drew Dudley – Accidental Teachers

I’m almost 36 years old, and I’ve been to the funerals of 15 of my friends. I’ve been to only six weddings. I’ve learned a lot from the people I’ve lost. When I was 19 years old, my parents let me host the last-day-of-school party (the one that’s been recreated in countless high school comedies)

Forgiveness and Leadership

I’m writing about these leadership lessons on the 1st anniversary of the first article I ever published here on “About Leaders.” That article about an accidental teacher named Mustafa, who encouraged me to “never let people live rent-free in your head,” has turned into a TEDx talk and become a staple of my presentations all over the world. I

Leadership Lessons from the Desert

Take pride in your work… you’ve heard this advice a thousand times I’m sure. To leaders, the English language is a language of qualifiers: “perhaps”; “maybe”; “possibly”; “potentially”. It is a language of disbelief, uncertainty, and limitations. In a previous article, I mentioned what I feel is one of the most prevalent and restrictive of

You’re Not “Just” A Leader When You Take Pride In Your Work

Fear of public speaking, for better or for worse, is what hinders most leaders …meaning they don’t like it, but they are evaluated by how well they perform when they’re in front of a crowd. It’s why far too many brilliant and valuable leaders shy away from the title – despite adding tremendous value to

The Fear of Public Speaking: 8 Tips to Overcome It